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Mega plan for city canals

Published : 08 Jan 2021 11:05 PM | Updated : 09 Jan 2021 05:55 PM

The two city corporations in Dhaka entrusted with the responsibility of canals of the capital will start working on mega plans immediately that how these canals can be used properly. 

As part of the plans, the two city corporations are considering implementing programmes that would contribute efforts to make Dhaka greener for a better living in the city. 

Besides, they are planning that how and in what way they can continue cleaning the canals, carry out waste management, salvage the grabbed canals, remove the canal bank obstructions and construct walkways aiming to reduce the city’s long-standing waterlogging problems.

However, the Dhaka North and South City Corporations have been given the responsibility of maintaining the canals and drains of the capital taken from Dhaka WASA. The authorities of the city corporations are working with a master plan to revive the canal which has been literally turned into a waste dump.

The city corporations have started demarcation work by removing waste and evicting illegal occupants. The canals of the capital will be decorated aesthetically by constructing rows of trees, walkways and bicycle lanes by constructing canal banks to prevent encroachment.

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam said that no encroachers, even influential ones, will be spared from the eviction drive, and multi-storey buildings constructed illegally on canal premises will be demolished.

Mayor Atiqul Islam said, "We got the responsibility of the canal at the beginning of the new year. After getting the responsibility, I went to Ibrahimpur canal and measured it with ribbon and saw that the length of the canal was only 10 feet. But on paper it is 60 feet. As a result, when it rains, the road is washed away. We found 200 truckloads of coconut shells, 36 carpets, damaged televisions and refrigerators during excavation in Kalshi Khal and Godakhali Khal.”

Atiqul said they will gradually conduct similar drives in other canals.

He said they will soon set up boundary pillars on the edge of canals based on CS surveys and remove all illegal structures from both sides of canals.

He added, "I want to tell the people that we will clean the roads and canals but you have to take care of it. With the help of city dwellers, I will give a healthy, vibrant Dhaka as a gift. Walkways will be constructed around the canal by removing illegal structures to prevent occupation. In addition, there will be rows of green trees and bicycle lanes. The canals of the capital will get an aesthetic look in greenery.”

The two city corporations of Dhaka have been given the responsibilities of cleaning and maintaining 26 canals from Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) to reduce long-standing water lodging in the city.

Earlier, the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) had launched a crash programme to clean canals and box culverts in the capital from the Panthakunja Park section of Panthapath on Saturday.

The responsibility for canal maintenance in the capital was officially handed over by Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Tajul Islam through a signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Hotel Intercontinental on last 31 December.

At the canal handover ceremony, LGRD Minister Md Tajul Islam said, “The two city corporations will take all the responsibilities for resolving waterlogging problems and they will have to do the work taking help from other agencies and residents of Dhaka city.”

The Minister said, “DWASA had been maintaining 26 canals (84.5 km long), 385 km storm water drains, and 10 box culverts (around 10 km) since 1988. Two city corporations will now maintain and manage 2,200 km piped-drains and surface drains.

Tajul Islam also said, “The government has taken different initiatives to increase civic service and it is being implemented in phases. Hopefully people can give example of the beauty of Dhaka city in near future instead of giving example of Singapore or other developed cities in the world.”